Facebook is one of the largest social media platforms on this planet, bolstering a whopping 1.44 billion active users as of the first quarter of 2015. In order to join Facebook, you must first create your own personal user Profile. The sign-up process at facebook.com is pretty straight-forward and Facebook guides you through the process to make it nice and easy.
(Additional read from our blog: How to Make the Best Facebook Event)
It’s important to know that a user Profile is intended to be for a single person. It’s an online reflection of yourself and share-worthy experiences as deemed by your Facebook posts, uploaded photos/videos, biography updates, likes, comments, events attended, friends added, photos/videos that you are tagged in, and the list goes on. A Facebook Profile allows you to connect with friends and family, express personal interests, and view/interact with content from online friends.
From a professional standpoint, it is vital to make sure that your Facebook profile paints yourself in a positive image for potential clients, partners, employers, or whomever could stumble across your profile. In addition to making sure that all content that you post is sensible, informative, and thought-out, it is also important to note that your profile’s appearance can be affected at any time by your friends whom can post on your wall or tag you in pictures/videos/posts.
To minimize the liability of your user Profile taking an unexpected negative PR toll, you should modify your privacy settings such that you must review and approve via notification about anything, good or bad, that concerns you before it goes public. You can tinker with these privacy settings by clicking the “lock” icon at the top-right (see pictured below).
“Okay, so I have my own user Profile but what about my company? Do I create another Profile to represent it?”
The answer is, in most cases, no.
Rather, a Facebook Page is perfect for this accomplishing this purpose. Facebook Pages are often used for a variety of things such as public figures, businesses/organizations, brands, sports teams, movies/TV Shows, causes/communities, etc.
For the creator of a Page, Facebook Pages are intended to expand and build stronger relationships with the creator’s audience/customers. Ordinary users “like” a particular Page because it represents something/someone they like or it could even be something new to them that still resonates enough to garner a simple click of the “like” button. Most importantly, users usually “like” a Page because they want to get updates about the Page topic directly from the source.
When a user likes your Page, each piece of content that your Page posts gets included in that user’s feed and is more likely to be read, liked, commented on, and shared to his/her friends. Facebook Pages create an amazing opportunity for companies to engage their audience, or “Fans” as Facebook lingo goes with Page followers.
As the Page creator representing your company/brand, you can post updates to boost brand awareness and equity. These updates could entail posting inside info about your company’s works/accomplishments, images/videos from your events, news pieces relevant to your business/industry, or even customers’ share-worthy content. Your Facebook Page should be geared to fit your company’s cause and culture—in addition to your Page’s content posts over time, this can be done with the aesthetics/style of the Page (photo albums, cover photo, Page logo). Users should be able to scroll through your Page’s feed and see recent, relevant, unique, and engaging content.
Setting up a Facebook page can be done by clicking the downward arrow at the top-right of the webpage (see image below) while signed into Facebook followed by clicking “Create Page”. This will commence the process by which you will set up the basics for your Page. Afterwards, Facebook will take you on tour to describe all modifiable aspects of your Page and display a progress bar to indicate how complete your Page is.
While signed into your Facebook Profile account, you can “switch over” to the Page administrator role by clicking the same downward arrow at the top-right and click the button that says “Use Facebook as: [Page name].” While signed into the Page account, every action you do is publicly under the name of your Page, including commenting on people’s statuses, making posts, or creating events. In the same way that you should be mindful of what actions you perform while signed into your user Profile, the same should certainly be applied to when you are in “Page mode.”
Under a single profile, you can like up to 5,000 Pages.
(Additional read from our blog: 11 Facebook Page Marketing Tips to Increase Engagement & Followers)
Last but not least, there is the third category: Groups. A Group is simply a platform for a specific set of people to connect with each other. Groups are often used for various purposes such as buy/sell communities, school classes, hobbyists, planning committees, smaller athletic teams, etc.
Groups are often noted for the adjustable privacy aspect such that people within the Group can share content with each other that others outside of the Group cannot access. A Group can have one or more admins whom get to control the privacy options (Open vs. Closed vs. Secret) of the Group, modify posting permissions, invite/kick out Group members, or change the Group description/cover photo/tags.
“So when representing a company, when would I create a Group?”
Well, you can use them for employees, management executives, or stakeholders of your company if you wish to give the specific Group an online platform to ask questions, discuss topics, post external media, or share their own content with each other.
A good example of Group implementation would be a Group intended for an incoming set of volunteers for an event. With the Group listing the other participating volunteers’ user Profiles and giving them a community chat platform, the volunteer retention and morale could be positively affected. Another instance could even extend to include customers, such as a loyalty program’s customer base as part of a secret Group—in this example, the admin’s posts can serve as exclusive content for these loyal customers.
Creating a Facebook Group is done also by simply clicking the downward arrow at the top-right of the screen followed by clicking "Create Group." Facebook then details the aspects (Privacy, Group name, members) of the group that you wish to modify before creating your group.
Under a single profile, you can join up to 6,000 Groups.
So Will Using Facebook Help my Business?
Facebook is a great tool for a company when used properly. Fully understanding how your business operates and then seeking opportunities to use your user Profile, Page, and Group(s) to further your company's goals is essential if you wish to implement Facebook's features correctly and innovatively while yielding positive results.
To summarize, a Facebook user Profile is a personalized online identity for creating connections with others, expressing yourself through online means, and sharing/viewing content.
A Facebook Page is for organizations, public figures, communities/causes, and anything that can attract a consistent following of any sort. For your company’s online Facebook identity, a Page is best suited for this purpose of engaging your target audience.
A Facebook Group is for a set of people that fall under a shared goal/interest, community, or commonality of a sort. In the context of a company, it can be best used for different sets of people such as various company departments or stakeholder groups.
Facebook Profiles, Pages, and Groups each serve their own purpose—consistently managing these individual communication platforms in their unique offerings will create positive quality and brand value for your company.
Using Facebook properly is just one way to target your audience. Want to know more about how we can help you? Contact us today!